Katy Perry's "The One That Got Away" holds at #9 on the Hot 100. Its airplay grew by 17%, but its digital sales dropped by 31%. So you might think it's probably out of the running to become a record-breaking sixth #1 single from Perry's Teenage Dream album. Think again. The song has been discounted to 69 cents in the iTunes Store, compared to $1.29 for most current hits.
But, you might be thinking, didn't Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan recently move to crack down on deep discounts in the wake of the controversial 99-cent promotion on Lady Gaga's album Born This Way? They did, but the discount on Perry's song isn't deep enough to be affected. Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan count all digital tracks provided they are priced at 39 cents or higher during their first three months of release.
The policy seems overly generous.
I have no problem with Perry potentially breaking Michael Jackson's record for the most #1 singles from an album. Records are made to be broken. And Perry makes consistently good records. She has brought a sense of fun to the business with her songs and videos. But if she breaks Jackson's record, it should be because fans like her and want to buy her songs, not because her record company slashed the price to juice sales.
Billboard's Keith Caulfield did a spot check last week and found that "The One That Got Away" was the only song in the top 75 on the iTunes' chart that was priced lower than the standard price of $1.29.
Perry will host Saturday Night Live on Saturday. That will give her song a boost on next week's chart. (The sales tracking period extends through Sunday night.) The price drop will also give her a boost, but, it seems to me, an unfair one.
"We Found Love" by Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris tops the Hot 100 for the sixth straight week. Only two other Rihanna singles have held the top spot this long. "Umbrella" (featuring Jay-Z) had seven weeks on top in 2007. Eminem's "Love The Way You Lie," on which Rihanna was featured, had seven weeks on top last year.
"We Found Love" also had six weeks at #1 in the U.K. It's the first song by any artist to log six or more weeks at #1 in both countries since the aforementioned "Umbrella," which was #1 in the U.S. for seven weeks and #1 in the U.K. for 10 weeks.
"We Found Love" also tops the 2 million mark in U.S. digital sales this week.
LMFAO's "Sexy And I Know It" holds at #2 for the fifth straight week. Unless it moves up to #1 (and it had better hurry!), this will constitute the longest run at #2 for a song that peaked there since Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" logged seven weeks in the runner-up spot in 2009-2010. The record for the longest run at #2 for a record that peaked there is held jointly by Foreigner's "Waiting For A Girl Like You" and Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott's "Work It." Both spent 10 weeks in the runner-up slot.
Bruno Mars' "It Will Rain" holds at #3 for the second week. The song also tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week and jumps to #1 on Hot Digital Songs. The ballad, which is featured in the current #1 box-office hit The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1, is the first song from a movie to reach #1 on the digital sales chart since Taylor Swift's "Today Was A Fairytale" from the rom-com Valentine's Day in February 2010.
Mars co-wrote and co-produced "It Will Rain" with Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine, his partners in The Smeezingtons. As such, Mars may soon have an Oscar nomination (for Best Song) to go with his multiple Grammy nominations.
"It Will Rain" reached #1 on Hot Digital Songs with sales of just 166K copies. That's the lowest sales tally for a song in its first week at #1 on that chart since Rihanna's "Disturbia" moved into the top spot in August 2008 with sales of just 139K. It's the lowest total for any song at #1 since Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" reclaimed the top spot in December 2008 with sales of 148K.
"Ni**as In Paris" by Jay-Z/Kanye West jumps from #15 to #8 in its 17th week. It's Jay-Z's 18th top 10 hit, which enables him to jump ahead of Lil Wayne and Ludacris as the rapper with the most top 10 hits in Hot 100 history. Jay-Z first cracked the top 10 in the spring of 1997 as a featured artist on Foxy Brown's "I'll Be." It's West's 14th top 10 hit. He first cracked the top 10 in early 2004 as a featured artist (along with Jamie Foxx) on Twista's "Slow Jamz." "Ni**as In Paris" is #1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the sixth straight week.
Lady Gaga this week becomes only the second artist to top the 5 million mark in digital sales with three songs. She scores with her aforementioned smash "Bad Romance." Her first two hits, "Just Dance" (featuring Colby O'Donis) and "Poker Face," are both above 6 million. Katy Perry is the only other artist with three songs at or above the 5 million mark: "Hot N Cold," "California Gurls" (featuring Snoop Dogg) and "Firework." These two artists are responsible for six of the 21 songs that have topped 5 million in sales in digital history.
The Black Eyed Peas and Flo Rida are next in line with two songs at or above the 5 million mark.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 songs.
1. Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris, "We Found Love." The song logs its sixth straight week at #1. This is its 11th week on the chart; its 10th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (164K).
2. LMFAO, "Sexy And I Know It." The song logs its fifth straight week at #2. This is its 14th week on the chart; its 11th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #3 (157K).
3. Bruno Mars, "It Will Rain." The song holds at #3 for the second week in its 10th week on the chart. This is its fourth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (166K).
4. Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera, "Moves Like Jagger." The former #1 song holds at #4 in its 24th week on the chart. This is its 19th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #6 (105K). The song ranks #6 for the year-to-date.
5. Flo Rida, "Good Feeling." The song jumps from #8 to #5 in its 10th week on the chart. This is its fifth week in the top 10. This is Flo Rida's fourth top five hit, following "Low" (featuring T-Pain), "Right Round" and "Sugar" (featuring Wynter). Digital sales rank: #4 (126K).
6. Adele, "Someone Like You." The former #1 song dips from #5 to #6 in its 22nd week on the chart. This is its 14th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #9 (94K).
7. David Guetta featuring Usher, "Without You." The song dips from #6 to #7 in its 14th week on the chart. This is its 10th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #10 (82K).
8. Jay-Z/Kanye West, "Ni**as In Paris." The song jumps from #15 to #8 in its 17th week. This is Jay-Z's 18th top 10 hit; West's 14th. Digital sales rank: #5 (113K).
9. Katy Perry, "The One That Got Away." The song holds at #9 in its eighth week on the chart. This is its third week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #7 (95K).
10. Gym Class Heroes featuring Adam Levine, "Stereo Hearts." The song drops from #7 to #10 in its 25th week on the chart. This is its 13th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #13 (68K).
"Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock drops from #10 to #12 in its 37th week. This ends a 26-week run in the top 10, the longest since "Smooth" by Santana featuring Rob Thomas logged 30 weeks in the top 10 in 1999-2000.
"5 O'Clock" by T-Pain featuring Wiz Khalifa & Lily Allen holds at #11 for the second straight week (and third week overall) in its 10th week on the chart. Digital sales rank: #8 (95K)…J. Cole's "Work Out," with its clever interpolation of Paula Abdul's 1989 smash "Straight Up," jumps from #17 to #14 in its 14th week…Luke Bryan's "I Don't Want This Night To End" jumps from #28 to #22 in its 10th week.
Three collabos that made the top 10 early on and then fell backwards are rebounding nicely as airplay kicks in. They are "Make Me Proud" by Drake featuring Nicki Minaj, which jumps from #39 to #28 in its eighth week; "Young, Wild And Free" by Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa featuring Bruno Mars, which jumps from #47 to #29 in its eighth week; and "Strange Clouds" by B.o.B. featuring Lil Wayne, which jumps from #73 to #62 in its 10th week.
Lady Antebellum's "We Owned The Night" jumps from #34 to #31 in its 16th week. Th song is #1 on Hot Country Songs for the second week...Lady Gaga's "Marry The Night" vaults from #59 to #32 in its fourth week. Look for it to become the fifth top 10 hit from Born This Way…Adele's "Set Fire To The Rain" jumps from #56 to #37 in its 14th week. It has a good chance of becoming the third top 10 hit from 21.
"I Like It Like That" by Hot Chelle Rae featuring New Boyz jumps from #58 to #43 in its ninth week…Justin Bieber's "Mistletoe" jumps from #60 to #44 in its sixth week…"Lotus Flower Bomb" by Wale featuring Miguel jumps from #57 to #46 in its sixth week… "International Love" by Pitbull featuring Chris Brown jumps from #68 to #56 in its fifth week.
Five more Glee renditions debut this week. They are the cast's versions of Pink's "Fu**kin' Perfect" at #57 (here titled a more family-friendly "Perfect"), Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" (by way of the Greg Laswell cover version) at #59, Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl" at #66, Melissa Etheridge's "I'm The Only One" at #86 and k.d. lang's "Constant Craving" at #89.
Nicki Minaj's "Roman In Moscow" debuts at #64. It's the first single from Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, the upcoming expanded edition of her smash debut album. The album is due on Feb. 14, just two days after the Grammy Awards, where Minaj has a very good chance of winning as Best New Artist.
The Black Keys' "Lonely Boy" vaults from #92 to #69 in its fourth week…Outasight's "Tonight Is The Night" jumps from #96 to #70 in its second week…Tyga's "Rack City" jumps from #94 to #73 in its second week…Grouplove's "Tongue Tied" debuts at #78. The song is featured on a commercial for the iPod's Touch TV…"Can't Get Enough" by J. Cole featuring Trey Songz bows at #82.
Michael Buble's "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" bows at #96. A version by Perry Como featuring the Fontane Sisters reached #19 on the pop chart in 1951. The song was composed by Meredith Willson, who is best known for creating the Broadway smash The Music Man. The song is from Buble's Christmas album, which has been #1 for the past two weeks. But you already know that if you read Chart Watch: Albums. If you missed it, here's a link.
Grammy Watch: "Bon Iver's "Holocene," which was a surprise (read: shock) Grammy nominee for Record and Song of the Year, has sold just 50,000 digital copies. Three of the other four Record of the Year nominees are megahits: Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" (5,644,000), Katy Perry's "Firework" (5,088,000) and Bruno Mars' "Grenade" (4,726,000). The fifth contender, Mumford & Sons' "The Cave," is a healthy hit with sales of 1,180,000. Kanye West's "All Of The Lights," which is the fifth finalist for Song of the Year (filling in for "Firework"), has sold a solid 1,561,000 copies.